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February 21, 2016

The small batch spirit boom continues with an Australian Campari

Adelaide Hills Distillery is branching out beyond the 78º Gin.

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  • Words and pictures: Joshua Fanning

Riberries are incredible. And while not widely appreciated at the moment, CityMag predicts this newly-billed superfood will be getting dropped into a smoothie near you real soon.


The Italian is available to purchase from Parafield Airport Liquor Store, East End Cellars and Melbourne Street Cellars with more independents to be announced soon

Of more interest to us, however, is that Adelaide Hills Distillery has just dropped riberries into their new creation – The Italian.

The Italian is a bitter orange spirit with low(ish) alcohol, made in an aperitif style.

Adelaide Hills head distiller, Sacha La Forgia bills it as an Australian take on the cult classic – and CityMag favourite – Campari.

However, The Italian is different to Campari.

As much as we’d like to believe an Australian distiller could knock Campari from bar shelves, it’s far better to have an Australian spirit that compliments the bitter-sweet bedrock than one that challenges it.  And The Italian definitely deserves its own spot in Adelaide’s bar scene.

A delicate infusion of native Australian botanicals, The Italian introduces and adds to the emerging discussion the nation is having about identity in flavour and cuisine. This spirit not only tastes delicious but gives bartenders something to talk about with customers beyond the weather.

And where Campari was once coloured by squashed bugs, The Italian utilises Riverland Oranges for its citrus notes and the already-mentioned riberries for its colour and tartness. Add to this bed of flavour some sunrise lime and quandong, and the spirit’s tasting profile broadens into something even more subtle and complex.

What results is not a replacement for Campari but an entirely new and interesting imbibe. Splash it over some ice, add some sparkling mineral water or mix it with vermouth and some 78º Gin for a very Australian Negroni.

Regardless of how or when you enjoy it, The Italian will make any hour a little happier.

Udaberri bartenders mixing drinks with The Italian at its launch

Udaberri bartenders mixing drinks with The Italian at its launch

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